Thursday, February 5, 2009
I am not a feminist until ...
The discussion, as we trickle back into the CoUNTess offices with summer glows, have been about the feedback received since starting the blog. Some responses have been made in the comments, others emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, and fellow art lovers have told us how CoUNTess has been making impressions in a variety of ways from student discussions to gallery board meetings.
To the war monger we say no we are not starting a war. Though we are flattered that CoUNTess is seen as a rival faction just for reminding art lovers how skewered the gender balance in the art world is. CoUNTess's goal is to get art lovers thinking about gender representation, noticing it, and saying something. CoUNTess's motto is to speak up and raise awareness of the situation so that curators, editors, galleristas, writers and artists will think twice about how they view and select the art we all get to see.
With the world wide financial crisis going down, CoUNTess is not the only mob taking account of over-hyped markets. Another punter asked what gender balance would make CoUNTess happy? The answer to that question is no less than 50/50 would be perfectly fine with us. We want a vast improvement on the imbalance we have so far counted, which seems to be around 35% women and 65% men. Why should women artists and the art-loving public be satisfied with a third?
Commenter Fred Friendly's suggested CoUNTess might be looking for stats that support our opinion of gender imbalance and we need to widen our research. However, we believe our numbers are straight and we can assure you we are sitting on no evidence so far that tells a different story. The CoUNTesses are up for the challenge. We have quite a few projects on the boil in 2009. A sneak preview of these stats seems to suggest that while women dominate the numbers of art students, they represent an equal 50% of the artists exhibiting in artist run spaces, about only 30% in commercial galleries and art journals, and up to 40% in public contemporary art spaces. The glass ceiling is completely visible, but is the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. Well not any more.